family sharing hard-fought life experiences in a field

The most important teacher for a child is a parent.  While kids are always watching and learning from your actions, sometimes we forget that they also need to be actually taught lessons – explicitly! For instance, a recent poll indicated only 54% of millennial dads know how to reset a tripped circuit breaker.  While my guess is if push came to shove most could figure out how to get the lights back on, it’s not an inborn skill.

These life lessons are a mix of practical and ethical.  It’s by no way exhaustive either – but it’s a good starting point.  How many have you covered in your child’s life?

27 Lessons Parents Need To Teach Their Children For Success

1.      Forgive yourself and others

Everyone makes mistakes but what follows is often more important than the actual mistake. By blaming yourself or others, won’t fix the mistake or make you happy. It’s a burden that affects your life in all aspects. Forgive yourself, your family, friends, and enemies. It sets you free to find happiness again.

2.      How to set goals

Having a dream is great but if nothing is done about it, it stays a dream. Setting goals makes the dream tangible; it becomes an actionable plan. Kids who learn to set achievable goals at a young age, create a mindset of accomplishment.

3.      Saving money

Kids who learn how to save money, often spend their money wisely too. They become adults who save and invest their money instead of acquiring unnecessary debt.

4.      Preparing for a job interview

A job interview for a summer job or for permanent employment is stressful. The way the candidate dresses, answers questions, and conduct themselves in the interview often determines if they get the job. Parents can help by teaching their kids how to prepare for a job interview.

5.      Consequences of behaving on social media platforms

When emotions run high, people do and say things they regret. In a one-to-one conversation, it is easier to rectify wrongs you’ve done. That same comment or photo posted on social media is there for the world to see, not only now, but in the future as well.

6.      Planning for retirement

Young adults don’t think about retirement because they aren’t taught to. By planning for retirement early in their career they can build a substantial nest-egg with a few dollars a month.

7.      Healthy eating habits

Obesity is a global problem. Children who are taught healthy eating habits will be mindful of what they eat and drink.  While there definately is a genetic component to body size, feeling well and providing a body with the right nutirents can be done by anyone.

8.        Importance of sleep

Too much or too little sleep effect more than just feeling tired. The body heals, grows, and regenerates while sleeping. Certain hormones are only released when a person is in deep sleep. Good sleeping habits help with stress, weight, mental functions, and emotions.

9.        How to budget your income

Kids can learn how to budget with their pocket money or what they earn with summer jobs. It teaches them the basic skills of how to budget with the income available to them. By teaching them that they can only spend what they have, will help them to stay debt free as adults.

10.      How to change a flat tire

Boys and girls of driving age should learn how to change a flat so that they aren’t stranded alone at night or where it isn’t safe. Whatever they drive, a car, motorbike, mopeds, or a bicycle they should know how to fix a puncture or change a flat.

11.       Email etiquette

Email etiquette will help kids communicate properly when sending and receiving emails. Often an email is the first contact a person has with someone else. That first impression will guide the relationship.

12.    How to write a college paper

A student who knows their topic but writes poorly could lose grades because of the way the paper is written. Poor spelling and grammar makes it difficult to read and sends the message of someone that doesn’t care too much about detail.

13.    Understanding a contract

Contracts become part of an adult’s life. It may be a lease agreement, a job contract, buying a car, or a cellphone contract. By learning how to read a contract and what various clauses mean, will help your children understand what they are agreeing to and the consequences of contract breach for either party.

14.  Honor and respect authority

When a person honors and respect authority, they acknowledge the leader, parent, coach, or employer’s accomplishment and function.

15.   Being thankful and grateful

Kids learn to appreciate what they have when they are taught to be thankful and grateful. Being thankful focuses on the good things and brings the negative into perspective.

16.   Laugh a lot

We forget that the pressures we place on our child (either consciously or unconsciously) can take a toll on enjoyment of life.   The cure – laugh more! Laughing is a salve in many situations. In addition to being a good fascial muscle exercise –  happiness, friendliness, and delight follow the laughter.

17.  Don’t despise the small beginnings

Many success stories started with small beginnings. When kids understand that the skills, ability, favor, money, relationships, etc. that they have, is more than enough, they will accomplish much because they will start with what they have.  Remind them that everyone started somewhere – even the Instagram “star” they follow!

18.   Dealing with confrontation

Managing confrontation and emotions the right way may avoid misunderstandings, irrational behavior, and causing unnecessary harm to others.  Especially in the world we live in – where people tend to have difficultly seeing another person’s point of view if they disagree – this skill is essential.

19.    How and when to walk away

Some situations are better to walk away from because they can’t be fixed or changed.

20.   Learn from others’ mistakes

Parents, teachers, leaders, and employers were once young, and they made mistakes too. Kids can avoid making the same mistakes if they learn from them and take their advice.

21.   Take Care of Your Body – It’s the Only One You’ve Got

The state of your body influences not just the physical activities but mental and emotional too. Physical wellbeing includes eating right, getting enough sleep, exercising your body, and taking time off to rest. It also includes how you treat your body when socializing and in relationships.

22.  How to behave in a meeting

There are protocols on how to behave in a meeting, training and other work-related gatherings. The unwritten and implied rules in the corporate world could ensnare newbies if they weren’t briefed.

23.   No means no

Kids who don’t learn this concept at home may suffer in life. They will intrude and may even cause harm when they overstep boundaries at work and in their social life. One way of protecting themselves is to create their own boundaries where no means no.

24.  Fake news and social media

Kids should learn how to discern between the truth and fake news. Often what is posted on social media is not the whole truth. People post what they want others to see and it is most of the time not what is happening in real time.  Also, whenever you see someone mention ‘fake news’ – be very suscpicious that article might be fake as well  :)

25.    Television may be harmful

In addition to lack of physical exercise and sunshine, staring at the television screen for hours is harmful to more than the physical body. What kids watch may indoctrinate them, especially if they lack discernment. It affects how they act, react, and how they perceive themselves.

26.    How to deal with being bullied

Being bullied have different facets and it doesn’t stop when kids leave school. Bullies grow up too. With the internet and social media, bullying is no longer limited by geography. Bullies are cowards because they pick on those they deem to be weaker. Kids need to learn how to deal with bullies at work, online, in social circles, and at home.

27.     Live a balanced life

Probably the most important lesson parents can teach their kids is to live a balanced life. Building a career is important, but so is family time. A person who makes time for all aspects of their lives are more productive than those who focus on only one or two priorities.

This isn’t a comprehensive list – I’m sure you can come with many more.  Please share you’re favorite lessons in the comments below!

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